Sumptuous Foodie Films to Pique Appetites of Miami Moviegoers

Posted by
The increasing number of intimate and evocative films featuring the tastes, aromas and, ultimately, characters behind food and haute cuisine continues to grow in popularity, proving that moviegoers do indeed enjoy feasting in the dark.
Nimrat Kaur as Ila, The Lunchbox poster; Irrfan Khan as Saajan Fernandes
Topping the culinary-themed feature film list is an Indian import called The Lunchbox (Dabba), by writer/director Ritesh Batra, which has become this year’s highest-grossing foreign language film in the U.S. so far, including a super successful recent run at MDC’s Tower Theater. The universally-themed romantic fantasy is set in Mumbai and builds upon the unexpected meeting of two lonely hearts (a married home cook and a solemn widower) following a mis-delivered lunchbox, which leads to a covert exchange of notes, where the two share their innermost feelings and philosophical musings with one another.

The Hundred-Foot Journey poster; Om Puri, Manish Dayal as Hassan Haji & Helen Mirren as Madame Mallory

MIFF’s immensely popular Culinary Cinema series continues next month with an exclusive Miami Film Society members only advance screening July 29th of The Hundred-Foot Journey, the latest by MIFF’s 2013 Career Achievement Tribute director Lasse Hallström (My Life as a Dog, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Chocolat). This magnificent culinary drama is centered on an Indian family that moves to France and opens an eatery across the street from a three-Michelin-star French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren), who’s icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate into an all out war between the two establishments. Bursting with flavor, this one produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Juliet Blake is based on Richard C. Morais’ international bestseller. The expertly woven script is by Steven Knight, who recently did a remarkable job writing and directing the dramatic thriller Locke (2013), and garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Original Screenplay for Dirty Pretty Things (2002).

Chef poster; Emjay Anthony as Percy; John Favreau as Casper

On the local front, and doing extremely well for an independent production, is Chef, a mouth-watering comedy directed, co-produced, written by, and starring Jon Favreau, who plays a chef who loses his restaurant job in L.A. and moves to Miami with his son and sous chef (John Leguizamo). He reinvents himself as the owner and operator of a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family. Upon hitting the road, he discovers his passion, not just for the plate, but also for life—and, along the way, audiences are treated to an endless array of delectable food shots that are every bit as much the star of the film as Favreau’s star-studded supporting cast (Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr.)

Le Chef poster; Michaël Youn as Jacky Bonnot and Jean Reno as Alexandre Lagarde

Opening this Friday, June 27th at MDC’s Tower Theater, is Le Chef (Comme un chef), by Daniel Cohen, where Jean Reno stars  as veteran chef of a Michelin three-star culinary empire running short on inspiration, when a radical young molecular gastronomic chef (Michaël Youn) enters the picture. This past March, Le Chef, also starring Santiago Segura, was the signature event in MIFF 2014’s second annual Lee Brian Schrager Culinary Cinema series, presented by Plymouth Gin, and was paired with a traditional French bistro buffet at Daniel Boulud’s legendary db Bistro Moderne in the JW Marriott Marquis. —Tatyana Chiocchetti

Return to home page. 

Jaie Laplante

Jaie Laplante is the Miami Film Festival's executive director and director of programming. Learn more about Jaie on Programmers.